Kankakee State Boys Camp Youth Supervisor Leonard Tatro, 63 of Kankakee, was found stabbed to death on the washroom floor with a knife in his back just after midnight Jan. 19. 1968. Seriously wounded in an attempt to save Tatro, who had been employed at the camp for six months, was fellow youth supervisor Elmer Moran, 62 of Kankakee. A youth that attempted to intervene was also injured.
Camp Director William Phillips said the action by the injured youth and others saved Moran’s life. The knife used in the attacks was smuggled out of the kitchen the night before. The two youths who attacked Tatro and Moran, Enice Lyles Jr., then 14, and William G. Franklin, 15, escaped in Tatro’s car but were apprehended by Chicago police the next day. The two youths pled guilty to murder and attempted murder in adult court, one of the first such cases in Will County. They were sentenced to 15-25 years. Lyles, of Chicago, had been at the camp serving time for burglary since November 16, 1967 while Franklin, of Zion, was sent to the camp on December 13, 1967 for running away from home. Lyles is back in the prison system serving a life term for a 1978 murder in Cook County.
Tatro was survived by his wife, two sons and six grandsons.